Friday, March 27, 2015

What Good Are Psiloi in DBA 3.0?

What Good Are Psiloi in DBA 3.0? That was the question posed to us by our good friend, "Uncle" Duke Seifried after the release of the DBA 3.0 rules. Uncle Duke, of course, is known for turning the 12 element game of DBA into DBE (De Bellis Extravaganza), a monster game of epic proportions. 

After some thought, below are listed some of the things Psiloi can do in DBA 3.0:

* Psiloi are the only troops that can interpenetrate. This means they can be used as a screen in front of the main battle line and fall back through it.

* Psiloi are the only infantry that can make a subsequent move during a bound.

* Psiloi are fast foot, moving 3 base widths.

* Psiloi are not effected by bad going terrain. 

* Psiloi cannot be corner overlapped in close combat - in straight up melee they always fight at +2. However, they are still effected by flank/rear edge overlap by enemy elements.

* Psiloi cannot be destroyed in frontal combat by heavy infantry - they flee instead.

* Pikes & Warband do not get a rear rank bonus against Psiloi, therefore Psiloi usually fight them +2 vs +3.

* Psiloi can "quick kill" elephants in melee - they destroy them if they beat them by just 1 pip. However, the psiloi fight elephants at +2 vs +5, so this isn't easy, unless the psiloi also has overlapping friends.

* Tactically, I believe they are useful on the flanks supporting cavalry, where they can be used to interpenetrate and flank the enemy, and able to run for cover in bad going using regular or subsequent moves. They are also useful for harassing the enemy out of bad going.

* Enemy pike, blade, & spear do not pursue Psiloi when beaten in close combat.


  1. I love them. So far I have been using them in two roles: slow/delay the enemy while I make adjustments in my lines; harass and threaten the flanks of enemy advances; threaten camps. They are very useful in getting on enemy flanks and rear to assist the slower main troops.

  2. I guess that's more than two roles :/

    1. I'm thinking of experimenting with an optional rule: allowing Psiloi & Auxilia the option of recoiling either 1/2 BW or 1 BW. Pursuing infantry would only be able to move 1/2 BW, & thus the Psiloi/Auxilia would be able to disengage from infantry, similar to what Hannibal's Spanish & Gauls did at Cannae.